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Stormin' Norman

Jim Schwartz Fired

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My question is, why are you only attributing it to our opinion? You're the one that is going against all the experts and all the inside people. Everyone agreed yesterday that the Lions have the most talent of the open jobs and could make a run to the super bowl. So why is it we are the ones confused about a winning roster and not you? The Lions have a talented roster, that is the general consenus among fans, media, former players, former coaches, GMs etc...

So, why is everyone else wrong and why are you the only one who is right?

I'll take your post point-by-point:

- "all the experts and all the inside people": I don't base my opinions on pundits, but your claim is easily refuted by a quick scan of google:

#20: Preseason Power Rankings No. 20: Detroit Lions | ProFootballTalk

#17: Y! SPORTS

#23: NFL Preseason Power Rankings - NFL - Chris Burke - SI.com

That's the first three preseason rankings I could find....NONE of them had the Lions in the top half of the league.

- "Everyone agreed yesterday that the Lions have the most talent of the open jobs and could make a run to the super bowl."

Even if they are the best team among those with coaching openings, that does not mean that they are a good team.

Set aside the worst 5-10 teams and any of the rest of them could make the Super Bowl in a given year given parity.

- "So why is it we are the ones confused about a winning roster and not you? The Lions have a talented roster, that is the general consenus among fans, media, former players, former coaches, GMs etc..."

Did they have enough talent to have a winning record in 2012? What did they add to the roster in 2013 to make them 5+ wins better than 2012? Or was the difference really more about schedule strength?

I think they should have had a winning record this year, but that doesn't equate to a "winning roster". The Lions of the 1990's proved that you can have enough talent to win 9-10 games every other year and still wind up with 10 losses every other year b/c of scheduling. That's where this team is IMHO.

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Lions notes: More on Jim Schwartz's firing

Lions source on Schwartz: "He lost all control of the team."

Also, some #Lions asst coaches felt that players were not practicing as hard in recent weeks, less attention to detail, source said.

They were still alive for the playoffs with two games to play and some of the players decided to throw it in?

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The ownership isn't as big of a deal now as it used to be. For the last 5 seasons this has been run like a good organization, the coaching just didn't pan out. This doesn't have much to do with the Ford's right now, this is Mayhews team, and I think he is doing a good job.

It's better than it was with Russ Thomas and Matt Millen at the helm (how could it be any worse?), but Mayhew has 1 winning season in five years as GM. That is a long time in any sport and a bloody eternity in the NFL. There is no way you can say he's a successful GM with the record he has and the time he had to amass it.

Schwartz was hired and maintained under his watch. If Schwartz wasn't the right guy that's on Mayhew, not Schwartz. The fact that Schwartz had a playoff run in year 3 doesn't mean that Mayhew is off the hook for what happened in years 4 and 5.

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STAFFORD, Bush, Bell, Calvin Johnson, Delmas, Fairley, Suh, Ansah, Larry Warford and Levy just to name a few

The depth issue has been raised before though, and just to play devil's advocate a little, I would point out that in football, much more than say baseball, you are often not as good as your best players, but only not as bad as your worst players. For example, maybe you have a really immobile 3b, well it's hard to hit the ball to the 3b on purpose. His bad fielding may hurt you in a game, but it may not.

OTOH, in football good coaches will always try to exploit your weaknesses. Have 3 decent guys and a dog in the secondary? You know where the passes will be going. Don't pass well? You are going to see a lot of 8 men in the box, etc.

Now when the talking heads look at talent, they generally look at the top of your roster, only guys with a lot of time and access to game film probably ever do the evaluation all the way to the bottom. Not being one of those guys, I'll take the presence of a few top guys with a grain of salt.

Edited by Gehringer_2

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The Lions have a pretty strong roster. We can go position by position.

QB - Stafford is an easy top 15 QB, fringe top 10 with potential to be an easy top 10. He hasn't progressed, but he is still young. He is, without question, a legit NFL starting QB who can take a team to the playoffs. Finding that guy is steps 1-5 in the modern NFL.

RB - Bush / Bell is a great combo. Solidly top 10 in the league.

WR / TE - Calvin Johnson is the best WR in the league. Pettigrew is solid. Beyond those two this unit needs some work.

OL - Not sure exactly where they finished the season, but they are top half of the league. Reif and Waterford are solid young players and based on PFF stats they are somewhere in the top 10 the past two seasons. Based on the eyeball test this year's unit was the best I ever remember seeing.

DL - Probably the best in the NFL. Young, deep and incredibly talented. Even if you don't think they are #1, they are solidly top 5.

LB - Top half of the league or better. Levy and Tulloch are very good and the NFL is a 2 linebacker league at this point.

DB - Weaker than the other 2 units on defense, but still not bad. Delmas and Quinn are solid. Slay still has potential. It's the NFL so you need 5 / 6 DB's to succeed, but this unit isn't awful.

They are either average or better at every position group - on the lower fringes of average for WR and DB, but hard to say they are bad. They have a top 5 front 7, they have a top 10 RB unit and a top 10 OL. They have a good QB. They finished the year with a positive point differential, but will still get a top 10 pick. I would really like to see what team is in a better situation that fired it's coach.

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Being "the most attractive job on the market" isn't saying much when the market consists of nothing but god awful teams.

Of the spots open for head coaches, I'd say that the Texans probably have as much talent as the Lions. The Lions have an established starter, but the Texans get the #1 pick in the draft. Take your pick.

Given the age of its talent, the Lions SHOULD be better. But they're not one of the more talented teams in the league. If they were, they'd be winning more games. We overrate the Lions talent on this site.

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It's better than it was with Russ Thomas and Matt Millen at the helm (how could it be any worse?), but Mayhew has 1 winning season in five years as GM. That is a long time in any sport and a bloody eternity in the NFL. There is no way you can say he's a successful GM with the record he has and the time he had to amass it.

Schwartz was hired and maintained under his watch. If Schwartz wasn't the right guy that's on Mayhew, not Schwartz. The fact that Schwartz had a playoff run in year 3 doesn't mean that Mayhew is off the hook for what happened in years 4 and 5.

I think he has been successful. Schwartz got 5 years, then he pulled the plug. The Lions have a talented team and an attractive franchise, that is success.

I am excited about the Lions going forward in part because Mayhew has made good decision. Year 3 got schwartz two more years, and rightfully so, but after 2 more years of data Mayhew concluded that was enough, I don't think he could have been more prudent.

Also, I don't understand your use of preseason polls above. What does that have to do with the team right now and what everyone is saying?

And yes, this roster has had enough talent to be a winning team every season. All it takes is a good qb to be a winning team, the Lions have that, they just didn't develop it. Mayhew has now turned his focus to development of the talent rich lions.

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Given the age of its talent, the Lions SHOULD be better. But they're not one of the more talented teams in the league. If they were, they'd be winning more games. We overrate the Lions talent on this site.

No, you just underrate it. Talent gets you the lead in almost every single game of the nfl season in the 4th quarter. Coaching handicapped the lions this season. Some people just can't separate the past and the present with the Lions. How does an untalented team have a lead in the 4th quarter of 14 NFL games?

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Being "the most attractive job on the market" isn't saying much when the market consists of nothing but god awful teams.

It's actually saying a lot, but again, underestimation. This is still an NFL head coaching job, the most attractive open is the difference between a top tier coach and taking a risk on coordinator. Not good to look at things in a vacuum.

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No, you just underrate it. Talent gets you the lead in almost every single game of the nfl season in the 4th quarter. Coaching handicapped the lions this season. Some people just can't separate the past and the present with the Lions. How does an untalented team have a lead in the 4th quarter of 14 NFL games?

IDK, it doesnt' make a lot of sense no matter how you turn it. So the talent is good but coaching is only good in the 1st 3 quarters but suddenly goes in the tank in the 4th? Or the players are just outplayed by the other side when those players start playing like the game is really on the line?

If this were a college team, the normal conclusion when a team can't put away wins in the 4th is that their conditioning is poor.

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IDK, it doesnt' make a lot of sense no matter how you turn it. So the talent is good but coaching is only good in the 1st 3 quarters but suddenly goes in the tank in the 4th? Or the players are just outplayed by the other side when those players start playing like the game is really on the line?

If you look through game threads this point has been covered quite extensively. Once the Lions got the lead they got super conservative with the play calling. Always running on 1st and 2nd down and leaving a long 3rd down conversion. The fake FG. Constantly lining up with no backs on 3rd down allowing the other teams to drop everyone in coverage. Every time the Lions got the lead the play calling went to vanilla, that is why Linehan was a bad play caller, they were afraid of having the lead.

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I'll take your post point-by-point:

- "all the experts and all the inside people": I don't base my opinions on pundits, but your claim is easily refuted by a quick scan of google:

#20: Preseason Power Rankings No. 20: Detroit Lions | ProFootballTalk

#17: Y! SPORTS

#23: NFL Preseason Power Rankings - NFL - Chris Burke - SI.com

That's the first three preseason rankings I could find....NONE of them had the Lions in the top half of the league.

- "Everyone agreed yesterday that the Lions have the most talent of the open jobs and could make a run to the super bowl."

Even if they are the best team among those with coaching openings, that does not mean that they are a good team.

Set aside the worst 5-10 teams and any of the rest of them could make the Super Bowl in a given year given parity.

- "So why is it we are the ones confused about a winning roster and not you? The Lions have a talented roster, that is the general consenus among fans, media, former players, former coaches, GMs etc..."

Did they have enough talent to have a winning record in 2012? What did they add to the roster in 2013 to make them 5+ wins better than 2012? Or was the difference really more about schedule strength?

I think they should have had a winning record this year, but that doesn't equate to a "winning roster". The Lions of the 1990's proved that you can have enough talent to win 9-10 games every other year and still wind up with 10 losses every other year b/c of scheduling. That's where this team is IMHO.

This doesn't prove anything. Preseason rankings? Really?

The Lions were a 4-12 team coming off of last season with a roster that didn't make many significant changes so of course, predictions going into the season were going to be tempered.

I don't know if you read a lot of articles or watch a lot of NFL coverage but the consensus from pretty much everybody is that this was a talented team that was being held back due to lack of discipline and lack of organization. There's not one person at least that i can recall who thought that the roster "on paper" wasn't good enough to at least get into the playoffs. A talented team that looks disjointed and makes stupid plays at inopportune times is a poorly coached team but still a team with the player personnel to be much better.

If you look at the Lions at the skilled positions, they have just as much raw talent as anyone which shows out when the Lions are "on". If they add a coaching staff that can give them some structure and emphasize discipline as opposed to the reckless aggression that Schwartz preached then maybe they can reach their potential one day.

Edited by NYLion

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If you look through game threads this point has been covered quite extensively. Once the Lions got the lead they got super conservative with the play calling. Always running on 1st and 2nd down and leaving a long 3rd down conversion. The fake FG. Constantly lining up with no backs on 3rd down allowing the other teams to drop everyone in coverage. Every time the Lions got the lead the play calling went to vanilla, that is why Linehan was a bad play caller, they were afraid of having the lead.

I'm not sure everything you cite adds up together. Too conservative, but no-back offense and fake FGs? Which is it, too conservative or too risky? 4th quarter turnovers were a killer. TOs are usually not a sign of conservative play but rather players pushing it too hard.

Every coach in college and the pros wants to run the clock out once they have a late lead - that's not unique to the lions, they have just done it poorly! If anything my impression is that between Schwartz and Stafford, maybe in a kind of bad feed back loop, there was not enough patience to just win the game by not getting careless. Lack of disciplined thinking on clock usage, poor care with the ball, inability of the D to match intensity and stop teams once they go to a hurry up pass O, and yes dumb plays - but not necessarily always conservative ones...

Edited by Gehringer_2

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I'm not sure everything you cite adds up together. Too conservative, but no-back offense and fake FGs? Which is it, too conservative or too risky? 4th quarter turnovers were a killer. TOs are usually not a sign of conservative play but rather players pushing it too hard.

Well, I specifically said Linehan was too conservative, he called the plays. No back set would be the definition of conservative, it means that it is only possible to run a pass play, you complete eliminate the guessing for the other team. The fake FG was on Schwartz, it was a poor coaching decision based on the game situation. The turnovers seemed to be spread out evenly.

Every coach in college and the pros wants to run the clock out once they have a late lead - that's not unique to the lions, they have just done it poorly!

I don't know if I agree with this, seems to broad. Many coaches try to get a 2 or 3 score lead before they run the clock out, the Lions would do it with a 2 point lead.

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Well, I specifically said Linehan was too conservative, he called the plays. No back set would be the definition of conservative, it means that it is only possible to run a pass play, you complete eliminate the guessing for the other team. The fake FG was on Schwartz, it was a poor coaching decision based on the game situation. The turnovers seemed to be spread out evenly.

I don't know if I agree with this, seems to broad. Many coaches try to get a 2 or 3 score lead before they run the clock out, the Lions would do it with a 2 point lead.

Well I won't argue it isn't a mystery to me. The simplicity theorem argues that when a whole team seems to behave strangely, you look first at the small number of managers for the faults rather than the large number of players - but I do think that individually, Stafford's sloppy play late has certainly been a factor. Of course you can still run that back to coaching in general if not specific game management.

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Well I won't argue it isn't a mystery to me. The simplicity theorem argues that when a whole team seems to behave strangely, you look first at the small number of managers for the faults rather than the large number of players - but I do think that individually, Stafford's sloppy play late has certainly been a factor. Of course you can still run that back to coaching in general if not specific game management.

Agreed. Stafford is a gun slinger, early on you can see him trying to use the normal progressions. When the flames are to his feet he just plays naturally, and although he makes some great plays that way, he also makes way too many mistakes.

It didn't seem like the coaching staff had an issue with his mechanics. It will be very interesting to see how the new coach handles Stafford.

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No, you just underrate it. Talent gets you the lead in almost every single game of the nfl season in the 4th quarter. Coaching handicapped the lions this season. Some people just can't separate the past and the present with the Lions. How does an untalented team have a lead in the 4th quarter of 14 NFL games?

I didn't say they were "untalented", I said people on this site overrate the Lions because it's the team we pay attention to the most. I doubt anybody here is watching the Chargers or Texans or Bengals week after week like they do with the Lions. It's natural to think your teams players are better than they are when the majority of what you read is about that particular team.

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It's actually saying a lot, but again, underestimation. This is still an NFL head coaching job, the most attractive open is the difference between a top tier coach and taking a risk on coordinator. Not good to look at things in a vacuum.

It's actually not saying a lot.

The only real thing it's saying is that you have an experienced QB and the other organizations do not. The only other one that does is the Redskins and their situation is different because they have no draft picks and their QB is a fragile diva.

Being "more attractive" than Cleveland, Minnesota, and Houston at this point is nothing to be proud of.

Hey, I was just in Sioux City, Iowa. You know what? Detroit is a nicer city than Sioux City. That's not saying much. Then again, I'm probably just underestimating Sioux City....

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I didn't say they were "untalented", I said people on this site overrate the Lions because it's the team we pay attention to the most. I doubt anybody here is watching the Chargers or Texans or Bengals week after week like they do with the Lions. It's natural to think your teams players are better than they are when the majority of what you read is about that particular team.

I bet a lot of people watch redzone, you see all of the teams all of the time. I think you aren't giving people enough credit. Even so, the Lions have 1 of 3 QBs to ever throw for over 5,000 yards in a season and they also have a current record holder for most yards in receiving in a season. Their front 7 is top 3 or 4 in the league and their offensive line graded out extremely well this season, top 5 easily. Bush and Bell are both really effective in the backfield. I think people truly recognize that the lions have a good amount of talent, relative to the rest of the league. Most conclude that coaching held them back. Now we get to see how well that theory holds water, because next season we have a new coach.

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It's actually not saying a lot.

The only real thing it's saying is that you have an experienced QB and the other organizations do not. The only other one that does is the Redskins and their situation is different because they have no draft picks and their QB is a fragile diva.

Being "more attractive" than Cleveland, Minnesota, and Houston at this point is nothing to be proud of.

But that does mean something, like I said it means we have the opportunity to land the best available coach. It means a lot.

Hey, I was just in Sioux City, Iowa. You know what? Detroit is a nicer city than Sioux City. That's not saying much. Then again, I'm probably just underestimating Sioux City....

I am guessing that even when you were typing this you knew it was a poor analogy, you can do better.

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I bet a lot of people watch redzone, you see all of the teams all of the time. I think you aren't giving people enough credit. Even so, the Lions have 1 of 3 QBs to ever throw for over 5,000 yards in a season and they also have a current record holder for most yards in receiving in a season. Their front 7 is top 3 or 4 in the league and their offensive line graded out extremely well this season, top 5 easily. Bush and Bell are both really effective in the backfield. I think people truly recognize that the lions have a good amount of talent, relative to the rest of the league. Most conclude that coaching held them back. Now we get to see how well that theory holds water, because next season we have a new coach.

I think I'm giving the average fan just the right amount of credit. I doubt most of us are breaking down film on player evaluation. And it's difficult for anyone to sit and watch every team with the intensity that you watch your favorite team.

Watching the red zone and evaluating the player performances of every team are two different things, don't you think?

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But that does mean something, like I said it means we have the opportunity to land the best available coach. It means a lot.

I am guessing that even when you were typing this you knew it was a poor analogy, you can do better.

I think you can figure out the larger point: if the Broncos, Patriots, Seahawks and Niners jobs were open and the Lions were considered the best job, that would be saying something.

Congratulations to the Lions on being the tallest midget.

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I think I'm giving the average fan just the right amount of credit. I doubt most of us are breaking down film on player evaluation. And it's difficult for anyone to sit and watch every team with the intensity that you watch your favorite team.

Watching the red zone and evaluating the player performances of every team are two different things, don't you think?

Well I think they go hand in hand. Fans that watch the red zone are more likely to look into player breakdowns. I usually assume a fan who is willing to seek out a message board and discuss players in-depth have a little more knowledge than the Sunday dad who watches half the lions game and then checks the box scores in the morning.

Many people here watch a lot of football, and I don't believe we need to go home and fire up film to have a pretty good understanding of where our team sits. Lions fans are among the most critical because they have no hope. We most fans now see is a talented team that keeps shooting itself in the foot. 1-6 in the last 7 games, they had the lead in all 6 losses in the 4th quarter. They finished the season with a plus points differential, that tells me, along with what my eyes tell me, that they have a pretty talented team. But talent means nothing if it doesn't execute. The players and coaches combined did no execute in the 4th quarter.

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I think you can figure out the larger point: if the Broncos, Patriots, Seahawks and Niners jobs were open and the Lions were considered the best job, that would be saying something.

Congratulations to the Lions on being the tallest midget.

If those jobs were open that means those teams would have stunk, and who knows what that reasoning would be. The Lions have never been an attractive job, they are now. I bet there are a few current head coaches who like to have the Lions job instead of their own. Regardless of who the other teams are without coaches, the Lions are still in a position to hire the best available coach because of talent level alone, that is undeniable.

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.......but I do think that individually, Stafford's sloppy play late has certainly been a factor........

If I had to point my finger at the main problem that lead to the Lions second half of the season collapse, this would be it.

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